The Maroc Challenge has significantly revamped the route ahead of the 2023 Spring Edition, which will take place from March 31 to April 7 in Morocco.
The event will start in Saïdia and after six grueling days it will end beside Erg Chebbi. It will be an edition full of emotions and novelties, and the desire to live this great adventure is reflected in the extraordinary sign up. The 19th edition now has 154 registered teams, representing thirteen different nationalities.
The teams will leave the port of Almería on the night of Friday, March 31 and will disembark in Nador the following day , continuing on to Saïdia, on the Mediterranean coast. After passing the administrative and technical checks on Saturday, the first of the six scheduled stages will kick off on Sunday, April 2 in the morning.
THE MAROC KICKS OFF FROM RAS el MA BEACH
We have chosen a 5-kilometre stretch along the Ras el Ma beach to provide an exciting new start for the Maroc, a ton of fun in which all categories will share the same itinerary given that the sand is relatively hard. It will be a memorable start. Later on, the Rekkam Plateau, the scene of great rivalries when the Dakar crossed Africa, will allow us to reach the Matarka camp.
The third stage, between Erfoud and Zagora, follows fast tracks and runs through new areas near Fezzou. It will be a tough and quite long stage. The Zagora loop, which will be tackled the following day, has also been completely revamped. It will start in M’hamid and pass through Foum Zguid after crossing the Sacred Oasis and Lake Iriki, with different routes according to each category. Beware C3 and C4, who will enter sand areas here for the first time.
ERG CHEBBI, FINISHING LINE
There will be many renovated and fast tracks along the route, but the stretches of sand and dunes will remain, since, as is traditional, we will cross Erg Chebbi in the third stage and the Ouzina strings of dunes in the fifth for the Raid category. The stage between Zagora and Erfoud will also be new for all participants as it will take us through the Lost City and some tracks that offer us spectacular views of the phosphorus, hematite and limonite mines approaching Taouz.
The sixth stage will start in Erfoud and end at the foot of Erg Chebbi, where the trophy ceremony will later take place. It will be linear and, although quite short, it will not be easy. It will keep teams on their toes as it may provide a few surprises, since there will be no track and only a few waypoints that the participants will have to “step on” in search of the fastest way to the finish line.
This edition will be unique, alternating historical Maroc landscapes with totally new ones that will allow participants to fully enjoy the adventure, driving and spirit that has characterised the Maroc for its previous eighteen editions.